Retired Brigadier Julius Maada Bio has taken the stick from us on the government side of the media, especially during the bitter electioneering campaign for the 2012 Presidential Elections , mainly because of his pugilistic approach to politics , but if the former Brigadier is able to maintain the redemptive and commendable front he displays whenever disaster strikes our nation , he will be surprised to see how the dark clouds will begin to evaporate around his personality.
When disaster struck Sierra Leone last year through the deadly Ebola outbreak, many insensitive and unpatriotic politicians attempted vainly to use it against President Ernest Koroma and keep the Government’s feet under the fire unnecessarily , but Maada Bio, the man whom non-SLPP Sierra Leoneans would have expected to politicize the disaster, took a more nationalistic and patriotic posture, as indicated in one of the articles below, culled from the SIERRA EXPRESS newspaper. He did not only leave his base in the United Kingdom to come down to Sierra Leone to identify with his people, but he made this inspiring and stirring nationalistic message to the nation :
“…It is the duty of every citizen to put aside our differences and join hands with the Government in the fight against the dreadful Ebola Virus until it is vanquished from our beloved country. It is our duty under the law; it is also our duty as good citizens. It is my fervent hope that no matter who you are or where you are we shall all accept it as our national duty to join forces with our Government so that together we can defeat the contagion and save the lives of all our people. Once again, I want to reiterate my earlier call to all Sierra Leoneans that we must all join the Government in the campaign against this deadly epidemic. We must all pull together as one nation and one people. My message to every household and to every family throughout the length and breadth of our country is that Ebola is real and it kills; help to prevent its transmission by adhering to the Government’s medical advice and to the Ebola sensitization campaigns of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.”
In all sincerity, that was a very praise-worthy approach by the soon-to-be Dr. Maada Bio . When national disaster strikes, it is not the time to attack the President , because the President did not cause the disaster. It is not the time to stir public ire and chaos against the Government because natural disasters are unstoppable. In fact, it is the time for true patriots to rally the nation positively to support the President and Government and fight as one body to overcome the disaster. It is a very heinous act to politicize national disasters. PRESIDENT KOROMA DOES A MAGNIFICENT JOB WHENEVER DISASTERS HIT THE NATION. HE NEEDS SUPPORT AND COMMENDATION .
Now Maada Bio has done it again . Last week, another disaster in the shape and form of devastating and destructive floods caused by torrential rains , struck the nation and once again , Brig. Bio has walked a fine line away from those diabolical politicians who are busy politicizing the event and trying to stir up trouble in the country. This is Bio’s message to the Sierra Leonean people : “Our nation has shown the world there is a common humanity which binds us together and cuts across politics, tribes, regions and backgrounds. Therefore, in the spirit of national unity in the face of such destruction to homes, communities and lives, I call on Sierra Leoneans to support the government as the country prepares for more heavy rains and the nation responds to the tragic plights of the flood victims.”
Some people might say that it is all politics. But indeed, what is not politics, in today’s world ? Every thing is politics today, but when national duty demands, true politicians carefully and meticulously avoid bad and poison politics. They avoid the “un-nationalistic” and unpatriotic route and answer to the call of national cohesion, patriotism and loyalty to the governing authorities. They do everything to be part of the solution. This is what makes the United States the greatest nation in the world. In normal times, the politicians are at each other’s throats but when a national crisis strikes they all come together to find a common solution.
Listen to Andrew Keili , another SLPP man: “It is obvious that our planning, response systems and procedures are being compromised by political manipulation, ineffectiveness of relevant MDAs, poor institutional structures, and lack of coordination and funding.” That is all we get whenever disaster strikes. The SLPP spent 11 years in power , but were there not similar flooding and disaster in Freetown in 2005 during SLPP rule ? What institutional structures, coordination and funding did the SLPP put in place for the incoming APC in 2007 ?
If more learning and life’s experience are helping Bio to become wiser and to shed his violent and bad-boy image, it will bode well for him because he is a very young man and he still has the whole world ahead of him. If he re-invents himself and stops allowing the likes of Umaru Fofana and radicals in the SLPP to put words of violence in his mouth; if he controls his supporters and restrains them from launching violent attacks on his opponents; if he begins to adopt a more peaceful , sympathetic and nationalistic approach to politics, stops justifying his past as he did recently , repudiate his old NPRC stature and begin to carve out a more mature, professional and patriotic Maada Bio , his future will begin to brighten. But will Bio be consistent and really reinvent himself to his own benefit ? We watch and wait .
What irony . While the ruling APC’s own son, Mohamed Kamarainba , is calling for protests and chaos against the Government at a critical time like this when we are battling two deadly disasters, here is an opponent of the Government cooling national passions and calling on all Sierra Leoneans to muster and mobilize behind the Government.
Maada Bio, we hope this is not a one-time wonder or a mere flash in the pan . Patriotic Sierra Leoneans appreciate your posture during national crises and we at COCORIOKO want to thank and congratulate you. We call on other opposition politicians in the land to emulate Retired Brigadier Maada Bio.
Let us always support our President and the nation during times of crises because it is our reasonable service to our nation.
Maada Bio reacts to President Koroma on Ebola
PRESS RELEASE – London: 31st July 2014 – On the 29th July 2014, like many Sierra Leoneans at home and abroad, I was deeply saddened by the news of the death of Dr. Sheikh Umarr Khan following his brief illness from the Ebola Virus Disease. As the leading Sierra Leonean virologist in the campaign against the dreadful disease, his sudden demise is not only a great loss to the nation, replacing him is going to be the most formidable national challenge; indeed how many of his ilk are willing to demonstrate the professionalism and muster the courage, compassion, dedication and sacrifice that so many had come to respect and associate with Dr. Khan in the face of the deadly epidemic? Despite all the attendant risks involved, Dr. Sheikh Umarr Khan never once wavered. He was a truly remarkable man and a great patriot.
As we mourn and remember the great service he rendered to the country, we should also not forget the other health workers and support staff who have succumbed to the dreadful Ebola Virus. Like Dr. Sheikh Umarr Khan, these health workers went beyond the call of duty; they served their country and they served their people. At this time, our prayers and thoughts should be with their grieving families.
In a Press Release I issued as long ago as 2nd June 2014, I stated that most Sierra Leoneans, including my humble self, believed that the Ebola outbreak posed a challenge that went far beyond the travails of politics or the boundaries of region nor within the capability of the fragile infrastructure of our national health service. I called for a united national effort to confront the epidemic just as we had done in responding to the devastation of the rebel war. Alas, this call for a national enterprise went unheeded whilst the virus continued to take its toll.
And, as for lessons from this act of omission, there have been many. However, in the interest of our country, now that the President, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, has finally agreed to heed the call of many and proclaimed a National Emergency in accordance with the provisions of our National Constitution, it is the duty of every citizen to put aside our differences and join hands with the Government in the fight against the dreadful Ebola Virus until it is vanquished from our beloved country. It is our duty under the law; it is also our duty as good citizens. It is my fervent hope that no matter who you are or where you are we shall all accept it as our national duty to join forces with our Government so that together we can defeat the contagion and save the lives of all our people.
Once again, I want to reiterate my earlier call to all Sierra Leoneans that we must all join the Government in the campaign against this deadly epidemic. We must all pull together as one nation and one people. My message to every household and to every family throughout the length and breadth of our country is that Ebola is real and it kills; help to prevent its transmission by adhering to the Government’s medical advice and to the Ebola sensitization campaigns of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
For myself, I propose to travel to Sierra Leone in the coming days to help in the fight against this deadly disease.
May the souls of Dr. Sheikh Umarr Khan, the health workers and the many compatriots who have died from this deadly epidemic, rest in perfect peace.
God bless us all
God bless Sierra Leone
Signed: Brig. Julius Maada Bio (Rtd)